Amusing Tales of Hanuman

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“Lanka Burns in Ayodhya.” One day, Hanuman is strolling through the bazaar of Ayodhya when a foolish cloth merchant calls out to him, “Hey, Son of the Wind! How did it look when you burned Lanka?” Hanuman replies that he cannot describe it, he can only show it. He has the merchant wrap some cloth around his tail, pour oil on it, then light it. Hanuman then sets fire to the merchant’s shop. When the merchant becomes upset, Hanuman notes that this is just how the demons of Lanka reacted. The shop burns to the ground and Hanuman repairs to a nearby pond to extinguish his tail. The next day the merchant appears in court and complains to Rama: “Your monkey destroyed my business!” Rama asks Hanuman for an explanation, and Hanuman forth-rightly tells the story. When Rama asks the merchant whether it is correct, he replies, “Yes, but I never expected him to burn my shop!” Rama then asks, “Oh, did you want to see someone else’s place burn?” and the merchant hangs his head in shame. Rama instructs him to avoid selfishness and idle curiosity in future, then orders full recompense for his loss from the royal treasury. Hanuman and the merchant both bow at Rama’s feet.

P. 160 from Hanuman’s Tale The Messages of a Divine Monkey- Philip Lutgendorf

Maha Hanuman Jayanti Homa-2014

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This Tuesday we had a beautiful heartfelt homa, a ritual where offerings are made to a consecrated fire, for Maha Hanuman Jayanti. Maha Hanuman Jayaniti is celebrated on Tuesday because that is Hanuman’s day. This blessing created a nice ending for the festivities of the weekend’s Hanuman Jayanti Bandara.

Enthusiastic devotees prepared curry ladoos for Hanuman-ji .  We offered an auspicous 108 ladoos and 108 coconuts dipped in ghee in the homa ceremony. All 108 coconuts were thoughtfully placed around the colorfully decorated homa pit.

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Mahendra, a long time devotee, visits every year without fail to lead the ceremony. He told me it is god’s will that he is able to visit and make these offerings. He has never had any hinderance on his way to the temple from Texas. If anything his trip is always effortless.

During the ceremony Mahendra chanted the Hanuman Chalisa by heart and with each round he offered a coconut dipped in ghee with a ladoo placed on top of it.

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The others who sat around the homa pit, with the sun shining down on them, chanted in response to each line of the Hanuman Chalisa and offered a rice mixture into the burning fire. When the coconuts popped in the fire some felt enthusiastic and called out jai jai.

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To end the ceremony, that lasted around five hours, devotees circled around the homa pit bowing to Maharaj-ji’s and Hanuman-ji’s photos  as Mahendra led in the closing prayers.

For more photos feel free to visit the ashram’s pinterest page where you can save and share your favorite photos.